Dinners your kids actually like - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know we have this conversation every so often but... I just want to cry when I have to think about what to make for dinner. I am at such a loss. My kids are so picky anymore. I don't cater to them by making ONLY things they like and I don't make them something seperate but I do try to make sure every meal includes SOMETHING they will eat. This is getting increasingly difficult.

 

DS2 is probably the hardest. He won't eat any cooked veggies unless they are well hidden. He seems to only like refried beans and mexican rice, pasta (but only as long as it is spagetti noodles), pb&j, cheese and crakers, red peppers, cucumbers and hummus, and faux meats. He won't even eat brown rice anymore. No potatoes, quinoa, other beans, soup of any kind, anything mixed. He sometimes will eat tofu.

 

I almost want to go back to eating meat because it would just be easier. No flames please, it is very unlikely I am just feeling desperate.

 

So my question is what are big hits in your house? What things do your kids like to eat?


Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

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Old 03-08-2011, 06:10 PM
 
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I am dealing with the same frustration.  My children (6.5yo) used to eat most anything but meals are increasingly frustrating.  We are l/o not vegan so it is a little easier.  They no longer like most veggies or many fruits.  They stopped liking lasagna – we used to eat it once a week.  Like your son, my children no longer like rice, quinoa, and potatoes.  My daughter has never liked ‘fake meat’ and my son likes it but I limit it.  However, they both love Gardein 7-grain chicken strips – not really good for them but I know they will eat it. 

Not sure these limited items will be any use to you, but lately the items they like are limited to:

Son…tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, yogurt, raw carrots, Cliff bars, kefir, nuts, some fruit

Daughter…salads – at least she likes veggies in her salads, quesadillas, anything coated in butter, guacamole, Cliff bars,  milk, nuts, some fruit, cashew butter on toast

We’ve been eating tacos a couple of times a week.  My son will eat all of it and my daughter will put all the toppings in a tortilla.

For breakfast, they often eat yogurt, granola and fruit.  My daughter makes a parfait and my son likes it all separate.

Their snacks at school have been Cliff bars or Lara bars.

Tonight was horrible.  My son ate melted cheese in tortillas stuffed with jalapeños and kefir.   My daughter ate garlic bread, granola, a tomato and a pear!

I’ve given up and am basically just letting them rummage through the pantry and fridge and eat what they want!

 

ETA:  You mention your son doesn't like anything mixed.  My children sometimes eat separate items as a meal like spoonfuls of nut butter, a couple of carrots, a yogurt, etc.  I don't mind as long as they eat enough and eat a variety of foods.

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Old 03-08-2011, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ETA:  You mention your son doesn't like anything mixed.  My children sometimes eat separate items as a meal like spoonfuls of nut butter, a couple of carrots, a yogurt, etc.  I don't mind as long as they eat enough and eat a variety of foods.



That is typically how we do lunch and snacks but at dinner I want to make an actual meal. Something that I want to eat too orngtongue.gif

 


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Old 03-08-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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I have the best luck with my picky kid with blended soup. He liked drinking it out of a mug, so I can make a huge combination of veggies, and if I puree it and let him drink it from a cup- he loves it. This is really the only way to get vegetables in him. 

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Old 03-09-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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We are struggling with the same issues.  Trying to find decent, healthy meals that all 6 people enjoy is getting pretty difficult.  Dh and I were getting really frustrated with the food wastage and the unbalanced meals that we discussed it at our weekly family meeting.  We basically told the kids (older two) that we were worried about them not getting the proper foods for their body, that we were tired of seeing food wasted and that it wasn't fair for me to make meals that no one would eat.  So, even though I know the general rule involving food is to leave kids alone and they will eat I basically put more expectations on my kids that they would try foods, eat things that they didn't love just for the sake of eating dinner and putting some healthy food in their bodies.  They mostly get to choose their breakfast and lunches so one dinner that isn't their favorite shouldn't be a big deal.  Another thing that is helping me is that I am keeping a running list of meals I prepare and how they go over so that I am not attempting to come up with new meals each week.  


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Old 03-09-2011, 10:31 PM
 
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Hits here are white beans with just lemon and salt, served soupy with bread, green spaghetti, which is basically tofu ricotta mixed with spinach and pesto stirred into hot pasta, spinach and 'cheese' stuffed shells, chick'n nuggets with broccoli and oven fries, sweet potatoes with cinnamon sugar for her, chipotle hummus for us, tostada 'crackers' spread with beans, sprinkled with daiya and topped with avocado, spaghetti marinara, polka dot rice, tomato soup, black beans and sweet potatoes, pizza with mushrooms, olives and daiya, tofu fish sticks, and she wants me to add that she likes the Earth's Best Elmo pasta dinner, which her grandmother feeds her.

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Old 03-18-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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Could you share your tofu fish stick recipe?  I am always trying to find new things to do with tofu.


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Old 03-19-2011, 02:11 AM
 
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What is the possibility that  you can make large batches of what your son DOES like and freeze them so that you have on hand what he will eat? That way you can make a smaller portion of whatever it is you want to eat, and he still gets fed with little fuss. My older son lived off of mac and cheese and pb and J's for a very long time. It literally is all he would eat, so that's what I fed him. Not a well balanced diet by any stretch of the imagination, but I supplemented with a good quality vitamin and eventually when he saw that I wasn't going to turn mealtime into a battle of the wills, he quit digging his heels in and actually tried new foods now and then. He is now almost 18 and will eat most fruits and vegetables that I prepare, so there is still hope for your little ones.


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Old 03-19-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What is the possibility that  you can make large batches of what your son DOES like and freeze them so that you have on hand what he will eat? That way you can make a smaller portion of whatever it is you want to eat, and he still gets fed with little fuss. My older son lived off of mac and cheese and pb and J's for a very long time. It literally is all he would eat, so that's what I fed him. Not a well balanced diet by any stretch of the imagination, but I supplemented with a good quality vitamin and eventually when he saw that I wasn't going to turn mealtime into a battle of the wills, he quit digging his heels in and actually tried new foods now and then. He is now almost 18 and will eat most fruits and vegetables that I prepare, so there is still hope for your little ones.



I am actually starting to worry that there is too big of a deal being made about it all and that is making him less likely to try things. He won't even try new fruits right now and is giving up foods he previously liked every day it seems. I am at such a loss. Dinnertime actually brings me to tears right now. I need to talk to DH about trying to down play this all a bit and stop talking about how picky they are in front of them. I am trying to turn meal time into a positive event instead of so much argueing and constant frustration over food being dropped all over the floor, not chewed before swallowing, etc... My mantra when we sit down for the boys has become "you don't have to eat it but you may not complain about it."


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Old 03-19-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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Could you share your tofu fish stick recipe?  I am always trying to find new things to do with tofu.



This is the recipe I use:

http://shmooedfood.blogspot.com/2006/01/tofu-fish-sticks.html

 

If you omit the kelp and dill and add a teaspoon each parsley, sage and thyme, voila, they're 'chicken' strips!

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Old 03-19-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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Get them messy, dirty and involved.  They can cut softer items.  They can clean up with a sink full of bubbles.  They can wash produce.  They can break pasta.  They can butter bread.  They can mush rice balls.  They can make cookies.  They can mash sweet potatoes.....

Let them plan meals.

Let them look through veg magazines and cookbooks.

 

Let them go to the store with you and pick out a few things.  Just get a piece of fruit, a new snack, and a yogurt or something like that and go have a picnic together.

 

 


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Old 03-29-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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I took DS to a pick your own farm and he loves to eat whatever he picks.  This is how he started liking green beans and cherry tomatoes.   We also went to pick a broccoli at a friends garden and

he literally ate the entire broccoli by himself for dinner!   He did like broccoli before but picking it himself made him love it even more.  I got him to eat greens because he is obsessed w cows and I told him how cows eat lots of greens.   thumb.gif  Ds is 4.5 and loves mac and cheese too-drives me crazy.  He would eat it for every meal if he could.  I try to cook healthy meals to offset the mac and cheese on other days.

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Old 03-29-2011, 10:32 PM
 
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Tonight was horrible.  My son ate melted cheese in tortillas stuffed with jalapeños and kefir.   My daughter ate garlic bread, granola, a tomato and a pear!


First off, I have to say that this really doesn't sound bad at all to me for an occasional dinner!

 

OP, I hear your pain. I had to just give up worrying about it and decide that DS would eat when he wanted. He's gotten much less picky since about age 6 or so. I think ages 3-5 were the worst of it, and I think I've heard that those ages are pretty common for peak pickiness, so maybe your DS2 will soon start to be a bit more open to new foods...

 

Main dishes that DS will eat now:

 

tacos (beans and cheese only, maybe some lettuce on the side)

most forms of tofu (pan-fried with soy sauce, etc., shake-and-bake-style, or just plain raw, white chunks)

pasta with tomato sauce and "meat" balls

veggie burgers

falafel

bean patties

Beans and rice (black beans, red beans, or Indian-style chickpeas or daal)

pancakes (breakfast for dinner)

polenta slices with tomato sauce or bean chili

cheese tortellini

almost any soup, especially if it's pureed

snacks for dinner- hummus, bread, cheese, tofu cubes, crackers, vegetables (I have to "forget" to put the crackers out at first so DS will eat other things)

 

I pair these dishes with a vegetable or two, and DS will actually eat most of those. His pickiness has always been mainly directed at main dishes, especially those that involve mixing foods. If I make a casserole, I know that DS will only eat the sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Old 04-01-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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My DD (5.5) is pretty picky, my DS (2.5) is a good eater, but they have opposite tastebuds. I feel your pain! I try to build meals in pieces so that I can supplement/replace thigns easily, and not feel like I'm making three separate meals (DS, DD and DH and myself). Hits, lately have been:

 

-Mexican/taco night: Very easily customized!

-Breakfast for dinner: I can't remember if your'e vegan or vegetarian?) We do eggs, sweet potato fries or ww toast, baked beans, fresh fruit and frui smoothies (with veg. protein powder)

-Tofu, buckewheat noodles and broccoli (or peas): covered in nutritional yeast and Braggs.

-WW pasta, with cheese, nutritional yeast, peas and corn

-Surprisingly, kale and broccoli soup (as long as it's pureed to heck)

-Lately they looooove "Smorgasborg" night, which is stuff like fresh veg and hummus, cheese, crackers, bread, fruit, leftovers, beans, hard boiled eggs, etc. Sometimes my not at all adventurous eater DD will try something new, since there are always lots of other options.

 

Getting my DD involved in shopping and choosing things (she discovered she loves snap peas, for example), as well as preparing the food, helps sometimes too. She goes in and out of phases where she's super picky, and then open to new things. I recently read a couple of books about kids and food; "Taking the fight out of food" was an interesting read. I always try to look at the week, not just the meal...some days are great, some are not, but they do tend to work out. She does take a multi vitamin to fill in any gaps.

 

Good luck, hope you find something that works!


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Old 04-02-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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My five year old has been really picky lately too. You know what he got all into lately though is hummus and carrots and broccoli. i put it out before dinner when the kids were hungry and he was super into it.  :) 

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